Daniel Gafford Forgoes NBA, Returns For Year Two At Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Two windmill dunks in a season wasn't enough for Daniel Gafford.

The El Dorado native stepped foot in Bud Walton Arena today as a sophomore and ready to play bigger than ever.

"Getting Daniel back was exciting. Playing with him and getting to play alongside him, somebody that has a chance of going to the League, that's exciting," said forward Reggie Chaney. "Every day I'm here, I get to learn something off him."

Gafford squashed any rumors of him leaving after just one year to head to the NBA back in March. Six months later, he's still confident and certain in his decision.

"What mainly motivated it was my mom and my dad. I basically had a long sit down talk with them," he explained. "They brought me back down to earth. It was crazy time as the process was going on. The decision I made is one of the decisions I'm basically proud of because I'm maturing more. It's helping me become better as a player and as a person."

Gafford established himself as one of the best forwards in the country last year shooting for more than 60% from the field and averaging more than 11 points per game. 

"I think we're still continue to see Daniel do that things he did," head coach Mike Anderson mentioned. "I thought he was one of those guys that could run the floor like a guard, he rebound the basketball. Very active on rebounding the basketball on offense and defense."

In the early mock NBA drafts, some list him going as high as a #6 pick. Now, as a leader of the team, he'll have a chance to get his stats even higher and improve his talents before playing at the next level. 

"It was really exciting for me - knowing I get to play with Daniel, one of the best bigs in the country. In my opinion, the best big in the country," said senior guard Jalen Harris. "I really love to dish the ball out, so being able to throw it up to Dan knowing he's gonna go get it from me is real exciting."

"Honestly we know Daniel's talented and stuff. Him coming back was a great addition to our team this year," added guard Gabe Osabuohien. "It defintiely motivates us to have a better year this year with him coming back."

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